Getting Started with Natural Remedies? Save Time, Money, & Effort with These 7 Expert Tips

Give yourself a simpler start with natural remedies thanks to these helpful tips from an herbalist and aromatherapist who’s been there.

No matter how excited you are to get started with natural remedies, there’s a lot you have to take in.

You have to learn a new lingo, find trusted sources for the information you need, and decide which remedies you’ll use and which might end up as expensive medicine cabinet clutter.

And unfortunately, that’s not always as easy as you’d like it to be. But it doesn’t have to be so complicated, either.

If you’re ready to finally make progress with natural remedies without all the overwhelm, I have 7 tips that give you the perfect place to start.

It Wasn’t That Long Ago

As an herbalist and aromatherapist, I’ve talked with countless people who want to feel better and improve their health using natural remedies.

I’ve also heard the same guilt-inducing setbacks mentioned time and time again. Things like

  • Natural remedies are so expensive. I don’t know what I actually need.”
  • It’s really hard to know what information is true and who I can trust.
  • “I’m overwhelmed by all the options out there and don’t even know where to start!

But if you lean it close, I have a secret for you. It wasn’t that long ago that I got stuck with those same issues.

At least, not so long that I can’t remember what it felt like as a young family, living on a beginner teacher’s salary, and learning how to live naturally when there wasn’t a lot of time or money to spare.

But over time, I’ve noticed something.

No matter who I talk to, I always come back to a small number of simple, foundational solutions that can take natural remedies off the “someday” to-do list and actually make them doable.

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#1: Check Your Foundation

You don’t have to know a thing about construction to know that you’d waste a small fortune by installing elaborate stained glass windows and vintage hardwood flooring in a house with a cracked and sinking foundation.

The same principle holds true with natural remedies.

You might be excited and anxious to dive right in with herbs, essential oils, and other supplements, but if you’re not careful, you could end up adding fancy ornaments to a faulty foundation.

Instead, you’ll have much better results and spend less money by checking in on your diet and lifestyle habits first. (Boring advice, I know!)

  • Do you usually eat lots of nutrient-dense foods close to the way God made them, or do you fall back on packaged, process, and takeout foods more than you’d like to admit?
  • How much healthy movement and sleep does your body get every day?
  • Do you drink plenty of water, or do you end up sipping caffeinated or sweetened drinks throughout the day?
  • Are you regularly exposed to man-made chemicals in your cleaning and personal care products, like artificial fragrances and parabens?
  • How does your stress load make you feel?

Obviously, you can’t do everything perfectly. But it’s highly likely you’ll see striking improvements in your health just by taking care of these key foundational areas. No herbs or remedies required.

Give your foundation the attention it deserves.

healthy food and exercise

#2: Trust the Snowball Technique

When my husband and I got serious about managing our money, we learned about the Snowball Technique. We focused our attention on a small debt and worked to get rid of it. Once we paid it off, we took that payment and rolled it into the next debt.

Finding success with that first debt gave us the motivation we needed to keep moving forward.

You can do the same thing when you start using natural remedies.

You see, you can’t overhaul your diet, medicine cabinet, and lifestyle all at once. But you can start with one small, simple change that will snowball into major transformations over time.

And make it easy on yourself. Start with something so simple that you can’t say no, like switching to the free & clear version of your favorite cleaning product or using real butter instead of margarine.

Then celebrate each little change because it’s snowballing into something bigger, even if you don’t see it yet.

3 Simple Things You Can Get at the Store Tomorrow to Get a Jumpstart with Natural Health

If you’re not exactly sure where to start, my free guide 3 Simple Things You Can Get at the Grocery Store Tomorrow to Get a Jumpstart with Natural Health will get your wheels turning. Just enter your email address below to get your copy when you join my email community.

#3: Start with Simple

The latest supplement craze usually comes with slick marketing that leaves you feeling like you’re going to miss out on better health if you don’t click the buy button.

The fresh garlic and ginger on your grocery store shelves? Not so much.

Expensive supplements can have their place in a health protocol, especially if you’re dealing with a significant concern. I sometimes suggest them to my clients.

But too often, those pricey pills and bottles aren’t as necessary as their advertising leads you to believe. 

In fact, you’re more likely to have success when you start with time-tested, familiar remedies available at your local grocery store. These items are inexpensive and easy to find.

Once you experience success with them, you can then move on to specialized supplements because you’ll have the confidence to use them well.

If you’re not sure where to start, my eBook The Minimalist Natural Medicine Cabinet can help. In it, I’ll show you how to use a small number of simple remedies to treat common health concerns like headaches, fevers, colds, warts, burns, and more.

#4: Focus on What Matters Most

When I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after having my first baby, all of my attention shifted to removing things that could harm my thyroid and finding foods and supplements that would support it.

I wasn’t concerned about herbs for strong bones. I needed to hone in one area, and I was determined to find solutions.

cup of simple herbal tea with lemon

When you start with an immediate health need and focus on the remedies that will support it, you can take advantage of the motivation and urgency you feel to get better or see improvements.

As you start to see the remedies go to work and your changes pay off, you’ll be fueled to keep moving forward.

This doesn’t mean you’ll just ignore everything else in your lifestyle that you want to improve, of course. You simply tell yourself that you’ll get to those other things later.

If you need help sorting through all of the health concerns you want to improve and changes you want to make, you don’t have to do it alone. I can help.

#5: Make It Easier On Yourself

If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a ruined DIY natural remedy project, you know what it’s like to feel waves of frustration over the wasted time, money, and energy that went into the flop.

In the past, if you wanted high-quality natural products, you had to make them yourself. You might have even had to grow or forage for the herbs yourself, too!

But with the exploding natural products market, you can find anything you need with just a few clicks. Even major grocery stores and big-box stores carry some excellent products.

That’s why I suggest skipping the whole DIY game when you’re first venturing into the natural remedies world. You need to set yourself up for as much success as possible and eliminate the wildcards that might give you unnecessary trouble.

Once you know what you like and what works for you, you can learn how to make your own.

If you’re not sure where to look for quality natural remedies, I suggest starting with Mountain Rose Herbs. You can find lovely tea blends, herbal extracts, natural skincare, and more.

#6: Don’t Fly Solo

No one likes to feel alone and misunderstood. And if you don’t know anyone else who’s into natural remedies, you might experience some awkwardness as you leave your conventional ways behind.

People you love might think you’re going overboard, you’ve lost your sense of fun, or you’re judging them because of your health-based choices.

That’s why community and support are so vital.

It’s important to have a network of people in your life who recognize that natural remedies work and healthy living matters. They’ll keep you encouraged and remind you that you’re not alone or crazy.

Start by checking out the community boards at nearby health food stores, coffee shops, or libraries for upcoming classes or meet-ups if you need help connecting. You might be surprised how many people in your community are interested in natural remedies!

If you can’t find a local circle of people who support your natural preferences, internet groups can be a great substitute.

#7: Know Who to Trust

Speaking of the internet, it’s a double-edged sword. 

On one hand, it gives you the opportunity to learn, find community, and buy the products you need. But on the other hand, you can find a lot of hype, dishonest marketing, and junky information out there, too.

So while I know this is tricky at first, it’s crucial to learn how to spot questionable sources and find the best books and other resources. There aren’t hard and fast rules that work every time, but some guiding principles can help you discern who to trust.

  • Look for people who’ve invested time and money in independent, brand-neutral natural health education. Anyone who shares health and wellness information should also be able to explain their qualifications for doing so.
  • Keep a healthy dose of skepticism if someone is selling you something while they’re giving you advice or information, whether that’s at a class, conference, or at the health food store. Be especially on guard if they’re pitching a cure-all remedy! Your momma was right when she warned you about things that seem too good to be true.
  • Remember that most doctors, nurses, and other health professionals don’t receive any education in natural remedies. Their expertise lies elsewhere. So while you should always be honest with your healthcare provider about the herbs and supplements you take, keep in mind that he or she may not be able to give you the most accurate natural health information. That’s what herbalists, aromatherapists, and other natural health professionals are for.
Simple natural remedies for beginners

You Have to Start to Succeed

These 7 tips aren’t flashy. You probably already knew about a few of them.

But it’s easy to forget how foundational things can make a big impact when you’re diving into the new and very big world of natural remedies.

So start here. Start small and simple. Give yourself permission to take it one step at a time and enjoy the journey.

There’s plenty of time for you to learn how to create custom essential oil blends, tincture herbs you grew, and formulate your own natural skincare. That will all come as you gain more knowledge and experience.

But you have to start somewhere. And starting simple often means you end up with success.

Then, in a few years, don’t be surprised if you’re the experienced one giving this same advice to someone who’s new to it all.

If you’re new to natural remedies, what’s been the hardest part? If you’re experienced, what would you add to my list?

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    8 Comments

    1. God is good. I am into Natural treatments, cleaners etc., but there is so much to learn. In recent days I have tried dandelion, stinging nettle and plantain. I’ve even tried the tips from the Spruce and Fir trees growing in my yard, and nibbled on the flowers I have growing. I find this stuff interesting indeed Keeping my eye on the Yarrow in my yard. I do have essential oils in my collection as well. Is cooking with Himalayan salt a good idea?

      1. Hi Vivian. Sounds like you’re doing all sorts of good things! Himalayan salt is a good one to cook with. Anything that’s less processed tends to give you trace minerals. I personally like Redmond Real Salt best.

    2. My problem is I don’t know what to make. I am 64 years old, not on any medications, all my numbers are good, I never get sick (because I wash my hands constantly and NEVER touch my face/eyes with my hands/fingers!), my husband is not interested in home remedies, and my children are all grown, married and out of town. I

      1. Hi Mary. That’s wonderful you have such good health! Perhaps, instead of making herbal remedies right now, you might be in a position to just learn about them so you can have a good foundation of knowledge for when you need them. Or, you might be interested in learning how to make simple salves for cuts. I always keep this herbal salve in our house and regularly give it to family members as gifts. We all love it!

    3. Those are great tips, Kristen, thanks!
      I remember reading for hours and hours about essential oils at the beginning, and when I finally found a brand that I could both trust AND afford, it seemed like a new world of possibilities had just opened in front of my eyes. (Until then I had resigned myself to using just herbs.) I then proceeded to make a small list of the five or six oils I could buy that would offer me the most benefits, based solely on my research of the literature. A few days later I came across your recommendations, and to my surprise (and joy!), my list was exactly the same as yours! Haha I remember I was so thrilled.
      As well as all your suggestions, I would also recommend getting some sound knowledge of how the body works, with good texts on integrated physiology, for instance. It’s not exactly less work to do that, it’s actually loads more if you don’t have a background in the medical/life sciences, but it can certainly help clear up some confusion. When trying to discern some new information, it helps to have some knowledge of how a body organ/system works and of its relationship to other elements, because there is so much misinformation out there and so, oh so many conflicts of interest that go undisclosed.

      1. That’s a really, really great addition, Lara. Learning some body basics can help so much as you get going! I’ve used a really simple, down to earth reference book called Know Your Body that’s helped me along the way, especially since I never took an anatomy course in school. Is there a physiology book you really like that would be good for beginners?

        And can I just say that I love how our lists matched? How fun! And this: “…because there is so much misinformation out there and so, oh so many conflicts of interest that go undisclosed.” I’m giving you a big YES on this one!

        1. I enjoy your posts, thank you. I used to buy my herbs from mountain rose herbs until other christians directed me to their FB post where they publicly supported an abortion doula. I never even heard of such a thing but as a Christian I try not to support anyone who supports abortion.

          1. Hi Faith. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I remember that situation very well. They give grants to people every year to help support their herbal work. That woman ran a mobile herbal clinic and won a grant from them for that. In her bio, she included that she was also an abortion doula. I find that heartbreaking, as well, but I was glad to know that she wasn’t awarded the grant money for that work. She just chose to include her other work information in her bio. So for me, I’m still comfortable buying and recommending their products, especially since they support other things important to me, like organic agriculture, fair trade business practices, and sustainability. I fully respect believers who decided not to do business with them after this situation, though. And I appreciate your thoughts!